Frank Lawss Hopperesque watercolours depict the individual character of east Londons most impressive and everyday buildings, as gentrification threatens their very existence
From Mike Leighs film Meantime to the TV show Top Boy, the social housing estates of east London have provided rich subject matter for writers and artists exploring the human stories intertwining in their communities. In the paintings of east Londoner Frank Laws, however, there isnt a person in sight. The only signs of life are curtains flapping at open windows and the luminescent glow emanating from inside a home. Blocks of flats that teem with life in, say, Plan Bs film and album Ill Manors, stand eerily quiet and vacant in Lawss images.
Laws was born in a village in Norfolk but hated the rural quiet. I was always scared of the dark in the countryside, says the 37-year-old. Im still scared of it. Its this fear, and Laws love of film noir, that informs the dramatic, Edward Hopperesque lighting in Laws meticulously detailed watercolour and acrylic paintings.
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